Ref NoBSUCA/JP/1/6/1
CollectionJohn Pidgeon Collection
TitleInterviews with The Rolling Stones
Name of creatorPidgeon, John, 1947-2016
Duration1 hr. 11 min. 28 sec.
Extent1 sound cassette (DAT 90)
1 audio file Broadcast WAVE Format
DescriptionAudio recording of a press conference held by The Rolling Stones in November 1994 to promote the European leg of their Voodoo Lounge Tour in 1995. Followed by an interview with the Rolling Stones by John Pidgeon.

Summary: [00:05-12:26] Music [12:26-37:20] Press Conference [37:25] John Pidgeon’s interview starts [37:25] Mick Jagger interview starts (9 minutes)
[37:32] JP asks MJ to at some point say that he’s looking forward to playing in Sheffield and in London. [37:46] JP says that he saw the San Diego show. [38:00] MJ admits that they were rehearsing it for the LA show, not that San Diego wasn’t big, and says that San Diego was probably better than LA in the end.
[38:13] JP tells MJ that it’s quite something to see a band that he first saw in the Ricky-Tick, and tells MJ that he’s never seen a better show. [38:33] JP asks if playing on the same stage every night gives him a sense of familiarity, and whether it’s possible to tell the difference between cities.
[38:45] MJ says that Florida definitely has its own personality, [39:02] and the West Coast is different, and that they all have their own personalities, [39:08] particularly cities in Europe.
[39:27] MJ says that a city in the south of Europe, such as Lisbon, is very different from a city in Scandinavia, such as Stockholm. [39:39] JP asks whether you’d find the same difference between Sheffield and London.
[39:55] MJ says that reputations of all these cities precedes them. [39:58] MJ says that in Glasgow the audience will give you a better welcome if they love you but they’re very hard for the first 15 minutes, and if you’re not on they’ll be very cold.
[40:12] MJ says some places are very forgiving, [40:13] London has a reputation of being quite a hard audience [40:17] because the bigger cities who have seen everything such as New York, London and Paris tend to be much harder to please, [40:26] but if you go to an erstwhile town in Canada like Edmonton, not many shows go through there, so they are very happy whatever you do, which isn’t necessarily the case in the larger capital cities.
[40:41] JP says the show is fantastic, but that the most impressive achievement is that regardless of the spectacular set and lighting, you still find yourself watching the performance on stage.
[41:02] MJ says that a lot of it has to do with the lighting, [41:10] because you’ve got to be able to see the performance, spotlight the band and light the whole set more evenly, [41:23] and if the stage overwhelms you then you’re distracted and drowned in it.
[41:32] MJ says that one of the things they did this time, which was quite dangerous in some ways, was integrate the screen into the show. [41:43] Before this, most people, including themselves in the mid-1980s, put two big screens on either side with varying degrees of brightness, so you either looked to the centre of the stage or to the side to see a close-up. [42:14] MJ admits that they were by no means the first to do this, but they integrated the screen so that you just look at the centre so you don’t have to look to the side to see a magnified image, [42:35] so that goes some way to concentrating your attention onto the centre where the band is.
[42:55] JP also remarks on the sensation of standing in the middle of a crowd of 50,000 people all doing the “woos” from Brown Sugar. [43:30] MJ likens the experience to community singing before a football match.
[44:02] MJ brings up the Ricky-Tick again, saying that the same experience applies no matter the size of the venue.
[44:30] JP says that the set list is not just a greatest hits compilation, and he says that it’s interesting how well something that they recorded in 1964 plays back to back with the new material.
[45:00] MJ puts it down to luck, and said when he went through the list of 300 songs, usually his first instincts are the best. [45:31] MJ says he threw up some of the numbers they’d done to death, [45:40] MJ talks about how the show is paced out with different sections, which shouldn’t be noticed by the audience, but is something MJ is very conscious of during the preparation of the show.
[46:03] MJ says that they have a lot of ballads, but you can’t do too many, because that’s when the audience usually goes to get hot dogs.
[46:16] JP asks MJ how he’d describe a live Rolling Stones show to someone who has never been. [46:30] MJ describes it as a series of varying emotions, which hopefully gives the audience a buzz.
[47:02] JP asks MJ to do a quick shout out to Sheffield and London. [47:21] MJ says he’s looking forward to the Sheffield gig on July 9th at the Don Valley Stadium, causing him to reminisce briefly about his childhood memories of his grandparents who lived near Sheffield in the moors [47:47] and that they are also playing in London on July 11th at Wembley Stadium, and he goes on to describe the home-turf gig as tough for the band because they are eager to impress.
[48:08] Ronnie Wood [RW] & Charlie Watts [CW] interview starts (10 minutes)
[48:22] JP says that he saw the show in San Diego and comments on how much fun the band looked like they were having. [48:31] CW and RW joke that the lighting is deceptive.
[48:56] JP asks whether RW & CW can sense the difference between all the places they perform at.
[49:14] JP asks how they would know whether they are in Sheffield.
[49:38] JP asks them how they would describe a Rolling Stones show to anyone who has never been to one. CW says noisy, [50:18] RW says
CW says that a good frontman makes a great show. James Brown, Otis Redding, Al Jackson,
[52:56] JP says that in spite of the huge set and lighting, you find that you’re still looking at the performance. CW credits the stage designer Mark Fisher, Patrick [Doyle], and Tony King.
[55:04] JP says the other thing that struck him about the San Diego show was that since Bill [Wyman] decided to call it a day it gave the band a real kick up the arse, similar to when Ronnie joined. Darryl [Jones] [56:12] RW praises Lisa Fischer and Bernard Fowler, Bobby Keys
[56:30] JP talks about Bobby Keys [57:00] CW says he’s better than Sonny Rollins.
[57:39] RW asks whether JP has seen Mac recently
[58:15] JP asks RW & CW to say they’re looking forward to playing at the Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield. [58:41] RW says that in Gainseville they played the Benny Hill stadium.
[58:56] Keith Richards [KR] interview starts (14 minutes)
[58:56] JP tells KR that he saw the band play at the Voodoo Lounge in San Diego [59:10] sitting with Chuch (Magee), who KR said the Stones bought a Cadillac for his birthday.
[59:25] JP says that he’s never seen a better Rolling Stones show. [59:28] KR agrees, saying that the most amazing thing about this tour is that gets more interesting with every show. [01:00:21] KR says he can’t think of a better line-up, saying it’s the right size, the right guise, everything is compatible, [01:00:28] and saying that Darryl Jones is a very important new addition.
[01:00:34] JP says that even though the lighting and the staging was really good, you’re still watching a great performance on stage. [01:00:48] KR said that he was a bit leery of the large screen, but says that it creates a form of intimacy even in the most enormous venues in the world, people at the back are drawn in as well.
[01:01:51] KR says that everybody thinks that rehearsal stops when you do the first gig, but in actual fact that’s when rehearsals really start, saying that you’ll never know it’s right until you have an audience. [01:02:18] KR says it’s always a good sign when Mick or one of the others mixes the order of the songs up a bit, because when people don’t want to change, it shows insecurity rather than confidence. [01:02:40] JP jokes that they’ll definitely have it down by next July if this is the case.
[01:02:54] JP asks if it’s still special to play in the UK. [01:03:] KR says that he will always pull out the extra stops on the home-turf, because you always love where you come from, perhaps more so when you’re not there all the time.
[01:03:27] JP asks what someone who has never seen a Rolling Stones show should expect, and KR answers “the most fantastic time you’ve ever had”.
[01:04:05] JP asks if KR has anything to say for people who will be going to the show in Wembley, and KR says he can’t wait to see the home-crowd, and at the same time there’s a bittersweet feeling because it will be the end of the tour.
[01:05:09] JP Cardiff
[01:06:09] KR says “Django Reinhardt I ain’t”
[01:06:15] JP asks who came up with the name Voodoo Lounge. KR says that wherever he’s working he writes on a cardbox things like Doc’s Office, which is KR’s nickname, and he recounts that they were at Eddy Grant’s place in Barbados, and his wife Ann has a huge plantation of cats, and during a tropical storm one night, he was walking to the studio, found one of the cats, and named the cat Voodoo and added to the Doc’s office sign, the words Voodoo Lounge. They finished the record, and the record company wants art and a title for the album, and suddenly Mick looked at the sign in the studio saying Voodoo Lounge. The cat lives at home with KR in Connecticut.
[01:08:36] JP says it isn’t just a greatest hits. [01:08:55] KR says if it was just a nostalgia band like the Beach Boys, who are great but seem to have stopped at a certain era and just regurgitate the golden period, the Stones could never do that.
[01:09:35] KR says that the songs from Voodoo Lounge feel like they’ve been there for years, they fit into the body of work.
[01:10:24] JP talks about his hair standing on end and goosebumps, and KR says that it works.
[01:11:13] Interview ends
NotesLPCM wave 24 bit 48kHz. Digital Audio Tape (DAT) captured using a PC running Windows; SPDIF connection via RME PCI card. Digitisation engineer Adrian Finn, Greatbear analogue & digital media ltd; during transfer there were regular uncorrectable errors resulting in audible artefacts. Digital file topped and tailed (by Elspeth Millar).
CategoryAudio recordings
Access conditionsThis recording is available for consultation at the University of Kent's Special Collections & Archives reading room, Templeman Library, University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NU for study/research purposes only. Access to audio-visual recordings is through digital listening copies. The University of Kent acknowledges the intellectual property rights of those named as contributors in this recording and the rights of those not identified.
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